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Insane Government in UK

I felt I had to share a couple of examples of stupidity by the government in the UK, one local and one national, for all those thinking that their mental problems are not shared by authority.

The first was David Davies signing a copy severing Britain's ties with The European Union. While there he gave a speech saying 'Better together,' while cutting the UK off from the Common Market (slight contradiction there!).

The second was The Highlands and Islands Council opening up The North Coast 500 to encourage tourists to visit, then shutting all the public toilets in the area, leading locals to complain about effluent being dumped by the roadside by motorhomes and others doing their business in public spaces, including a graveyard. Even where we live the toilets have been closed and a young lad about eight or nine did a Jobby in the street, as they call it in Scotland and I have seen possible other remains by adults, outside pubs. Disgusting? without doubt. Something that could have been avoided with a little forward thinking? Again undoubtedly.

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Message to the young - a fictional rant about becoming wreckage on the shore of your own life

If you survive your impetuous youth, to reach my age, you'll have all of the following to look forward to and more (Old age doesn't come empty handed as they say in Scotland): Indigestion, heartburn, piles and a bladder that controls you - not you, it. You'll cut and bruise easily too. Your teeth will be sensitive to both hot and cold things equally. Chewing hard stuff? Just a memory of stamina you've no longer got. Your eyes will run at the least sign of cold weather, until you drown in your tears and your nose may follow suit. Oh yes, you cocky little bastards - no more bare arms and t-shirts in the pouring rain or falling snow flakes. As Leonard Cohen sang 'You'll be aching in the places, where you used to play.' One day the wrinkled bag between your legs, will be caught up by the rest of your body and you'll be a dried and crinkly old prune all over.

I hate the lot of you, with your smooth skin and pimply faces. Your ability to run and play in a way now lost to me forever, gets right up my nose but one day I'll have my revenge, if you don't kill yourself first. Old age is the only prejudice that can be guaranteed to catch up with you. The shoe invariably and inevitably fits on the other foot. That cannot be said about race, sex, sexual persuasion or class. We all grow old and one day you'll be laughing on the other side of your face, when the insults you sent out to us, return to haunt you, 'grandpa!'

That poor lad shot in the head at point blank range in Salford recently and that boy stabbed through the heart, crossing a bridge in London a few years back - total strangers, killed for no good reason. They could have grown up to be worth something to society, murdered by jealous scum who were no good to anyone. All you lot talk of is respect, yet you show us none and scant little to anyone else, including yourselves. When you reach my age, who'll look after you because your kids won't. Like you abusing us in care homes now, this is also something for you to look forward to.

I wish you all the corns, callouses and ingrowing toenails I have. All the bad breath and rotten teeth too. The arthritis, the rheumatism, failing eyesight and all the other general aches and pains that come from getting older. The permanently gunged up eyes, ears and nose. The dribbling at both ends (The erectile dysfunction especially, I wish you well with). The veins showing through your thinning and blotched skin - welcome to the real horror of old age! The juddering when drinking, the lack of stamina that leaves you leaning on a wall, on the way home. The deafness, the memory loss, the perpetual dry throat - the old person's smell that hits you, when you reach a certain age (Everything stinks in a different way from that point on). The shakes, the loss of balance as bodily rhythms throw you all over the place, where once you controlled them, right down to the smallest movement.

All your vain wallowing in pride about your appearance - where will that be, when the hair on your head turns grey or falls out and what's up your nose, in your ears and on your eyebrows, turns into a dense thicket? What will you do, when your body turns into a bag of fat or just skin, stretched over bone?

All those smooth skinned, lithe young bodies, having no blemishes except for temporary acne - I envy you! My revenge is knowing that one day you'll end up just like me - old and falling to bits at the seams. All the 'pleasures' you enjoy now, one day will be gone. Sugar will set your teeth on edge, bread will give you heartburn, fat will make you want to throw up. All of life's victories you can say goodbye to because they will simply make you too ill, to enjoy them anymore - the sex, the drink, the cigarettes. All because you've become too sensitive to sensations, to put up with them anymore (Too bright, too noisy, too smelly, too strong tasting). The first half of your life, you're indefatigable - the second, crushed to death by your experiences. The good memories disappear and the bad ones resurface. Do I have a poor memory in reality? No, I just don't want to remember the past anymore or experience the present and as for the future... I've lost all my appetite for life and just want to die. I've watched family and friends go before me and now I'm dead inside too, just waiting for my body to catch up and release me from this living hell of daily life.

I remember how it used to be with my wife and me. We stood together against the gathering storm but now we've fallen apart. We can barely talk to each other. We go through the sham of a happy marriage, like nearly everyone else we know because that is what is expected of you. I remember when we first met and fell in love. We were two strangers, who opened up and trusted each other. The barriers between us dissolved and like blocks of ice, melting into running water, we flowed into one another. Finally finding a mirror of ourselves, we blossomed into one being and abandoned the lies and subterfuge of the world around us. Now the agreed upon barriers have been reforged. We do not let passion push us beyond this. We never meet in no-man's land anymore. Our 'relationship' is constant and consciously maintained because it can never be anything but distant from now on. Love is dead. Mutual exploration is dead. We are dead.

We no longer fight or struggle for understanding but have drifted away from each other. We are polite across the cold spaces between us, going through the senseless formalities but that is all. To outsiders living their own cold, dead lives, we are 'still' in love but robots know the truth, minds know the truth - hearts though won't accept it and die for their treason to hard facts.

Yes, you have all this emotional hell to look forward to and I wouldn't wish it on anybody, not even you - the death of love, the death of friendship, in a crumbling world where we throw ourselves into tasks, to avoid facing this loneliness, this emptiness, we cal our 'lives.' We are battlefield casualties of a war we slid into - one we never consciously chose. Wrecks of yesterday - mind staring at mind, broken heart at broken heart, unwilling to face the pain inside. We pretend that all is 'normal' and act as though it were, in the vain hope it will be again but knowing different in reality.

Shut me in my box

Keep me safe and warm.

Shut me in my box

Save me from the storm.

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Childhood memories and misspent youth

My family was artistic on my mothers side. As kids, we created plasticine men and made a second world war battlefield out in the backyard. My brother made a plastercast pillbox for the Americans and I made a cardboard tank, with a doweling rod cannon and cotton reel wheels for the tracks. We used darts as representing bullet wounds and shots. Grenades were match heads, wrapped in silver foil. You had to say grenade, before throwing a dart that was supposed to be one. My brother had also made a pretend river with a bridge over it to the pillbox. As the game progressed, it became obvious that the tank was too big to get over it and darts, representing bazooka shells finished it off.

We also made paper men and played different characters with them, including cowboys with guns that came out of holsters and gun belts that were also worn by the figures as well as waistcoats. My eldest cousin also made a robot that was hollow and filled with beetroot juice, to represent blood and had a cellophane panel so you could see it. One year he built a mummy for Halloween, wrapped in bandages, with a hole in its side and a real dead spider in the gap. It also had ping-pong balls for eyes.

Cousin Michael made several firework bombs, including a plaster of Paris hand grenade and bog roll bomb. He also stuck bangers in cow pats or covered them with clay and threw them in the parish fields pond. Him and some others, used to put bangers in their clothes and run around until they exploded. Some of Jim’s mates had a fireworks battle, firing rockets across the Mere.

One year my brother created a home made shotgun as he called it. It was a wooden box construction with a shelf support as the handle. It was two metal tubes, filled with gunpowder from bangers, toilet paper rammed down it and on top of it a load of dried peas. He went down the Rectory Meadow to try it. Needless to say, the back blew off and he came home with a bit of smouldering shirt sticking out of his chest.

We had cats at home and when one died, Brother Jim painted a headstone for it, Dad dug a hole to bury and got a cardboard shoe box to put it in and I bought a big ornamental candle to put on top of it, paying a vigil over the graveside that night. We also had a budgie that I bought at Norwich Market and because it kicked seeds all over the carpet, it got relegated to the little room beside the front door and died of neglect. When a toddler I also buried the goldfish in the garden to see if they could swim but mum caught me and they survived. Plants didn’t fare much better, with me letting a maidenhair fern dry up and die, and I put a cactus into the water butt, which swelled up and fell to bits, drowned.

Nature also captured our imagination. Off to the local pond for frog spawn or newts. Trying to grab lizards basking in the sun or out eating ants (them, not us). Discovering slow worms in the compost heap. Bringing home toads as big as your fist (where have they all gone now?). Going in search of tadpoles in local ponds or out with fishing nets, trying to catch minnow or sticklebacks. Finding a Millers Thumb in the river (not a real one - a fish called that because of its big, flat head). Chasing butterflies across meadows or watching them hatch.

Did I mention how my brother saved a boy’s life? He climbed up a tree, to cut the rope hanging from it and if my brother hadn't thrown a half brick that hit him between the eyes, he would have fell twenty feet and killed himself or had a serious accident as he was hanging onto the rope which he was cutting, suspended in mid air.

My brother also got into a fight with another local lad, who didn't like me. We were cooking eggs in half oranges, with the contents scooped out and mackerel, wrapped in wet newspaper, stuffed into the embers of the fire as per Blue Peter instructions, when this all kicked off.

I remember dragging the sledge home, my uncle Ron made for me, during the really bad winter in the sixties. My soaking clothes had frozen and creaked as I moved along.

I played truant once by hiding in the ditch, until my mother shouted over the fence that she could see me and it was too late to go to school now, so you might as well come out of hiding. Looking across the cornfields at night and watching the light of the trains in the distance or in daylight, seeing the wind turn the waving corn stalks into a swishing see of yellow, then jumping over the fence after the harvest and finding hiding hares to chase or hedgehogs to pick up. Those were the days, that was a childhood worth living, not stuck in front of a TV or computer screen - real life, real experience

Me and my brother had a knitting needle fight once and I remember he stuck his into my arm and didn’t believe it when I told him he’d stabbed me. It was like when me and a cousin when we worked in a fabric knitting factory, near the old picture house. We had a sword fight with cardboard rolls that went up the centre of the material. I tripped and fell over backwards, catching one of my teeth on the handle of a pump up forklift. I told him I’d broken a tooth but he didn’t believe me either, until I showed him the broken parts.

I was never any good at football or any sport in fact. I had two left feet and no stamina, so when it came to picking a team, I was always the one who was left to the end, with the prophetic words 'I suppose we'll have to have him.' I was always stuck in goal or defence, usually the latter, even though my dad was a goalie for Diss Town.

Because I couldn't run and was big (the school photo shows a big grey area and that was me), my cousin Mike named Taff because it was fat backwards and later on Heap after a Mad Magazine strip cartoon, where a pile of rubbish comes to life. Him, my brother and Mike’s middle brother wanted to go off somewhere once, so I was told to look after the youngest brother, killing two birds with one stone as he didn't want me coming along either really.

We were Mods, my brother having A Lambretta and I had a Vespa 150 Sprint. I remember following him along Heywood Road, when he turned down Uplands Way and I missed the turn, slamming my brakes on and coming off my scooter (I did this another time too, coming round a bend that was notorious for crashes I later learned, falling on my backside and shouting my head off in pain, bringing a farmer from across a field and a lady out who lived nearby).

After I left school, I bought myself a black RAF coat. Bad move. It rained disclosing this was a badly dyed grey RAF coat - cue black shirt, ruined by seepage. I had a scooter as did my brother but at some point he bought a Trotter mobile and turned the three wheeler over on a bend, trying to keep up with a mate on a scooter.

We saw Jimmy Hendrix in Dereham pavilion and Lindisfarne at St. Andrews Hall in Norwich. I also ended up somewhere in North Norfolk, watching the Searchers because a gang of us from work went.

Somebody sneaked in a bottle of real scrumpy to a band we watched at college. I had a mouthful and the last thing I remember of that night was passing the bandstand and the noise of the music briefly knocking me back to consciousness as I staggered to the toilet.

At a later date, when I was living in Cambridge, another bedsit refugee beside me, invited me to a something in the Corn Hall, just behind where we lived. He introduced me to Newcastle Brown because he was originally from that part of the country. The next thing I remember is finding myself over a toilet seat in the hall, with everyone else having vacated the place ages ago. The following day I had to ring up work, to say I wouldn't be in because I was bent double and couldn't stand up straight (I tried drinking a glass of milk. Down it went and up it came again immediately. So I thought water might be okay. Down it went and up it came immediately again. Needless to say I have never had scrumpy cider or Newcastle Brown ever again.

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A lifetime of animals

When I look into my dog's eyes, I see simplicity, honesty, perfection and love. Sadly, I cannot see that in adult human eyes but the glimmer exists in children's, before adults knock it out of them and they become the conniving, dishonest, frightened beings we recognise as neurotypical human beings.

We only have one dog left now - Jack the lad, Jack in the box, Jack of hearts. He is growing older and more arthritic with time. He is also imitating our last old dog Midge, which fought its way back from a stroke to full health (lopsided head, with left bias, to fully upright again) before succumbing to the inability to gain sustenance from any food, through suffering perpetual diarrhoea.

Holly, the old Labrador we had before her, was full of joy but they didn't get on. One night, shortly after we obtained Midge, she panicked, bumped into Holly and bit off part of her ear. After this incident Holly was badly shaken and within a short period of time developed diabetes.

Me and my wife's first pet together was Corrie. She had taken possession of her as a puppy and met me in her twilight years. She instantly recognised me as a fellow traveller through life and we got on well from that instant. If we hadn't got on well as my wife pointed, that would have been me out the door, not her. When she eventually passed away, we were both by her side. She looked from left to right, making sure we were both situated near her and died shortly after midnight.

We had looked after a friend's dog, when she went off on courses, at a period after this. Eventually she said that we might as well keep Ludi as she was with us more than her anyway. Shortly after this we also acquired Holly, although our original intention was to get only one new dog.

We got Holly from a friend of my wife's. We picked her because she picked us, coming straight up to me when we viewed the batch of puppies. On the way home, she started off on my lap, venturing up to my shoulders then onto the parcel shelf at the back of the car. The first few nights she slept on my head like a wig or under the covers with her rear end sticking out.

Her and that bed. She was only aggressive twice and that was when my wife tried to move her position. She was like a typewriter carriage. Every time you turned over in bed, she lumped up against your body in the new place, until eventually you found yourself on the edge or with the duvet totally off you. If you tried to move her, she growled in displeasure. My tactic was always to get out of bed and move to the other side but not Margaret's.

Ludi died of a haemorrhage when we lived in Thurso. She had run like the wind, chasing deer and rabbits. If we ever lost her, she never lost us. She would calmly turn up at our house house, while we were out, frantically searching for her, in the last place she was seen. She ate dead rabbits that were so mouldy, she would end up bringing them back up, ears and feet mostly. Finally she became so arthritic that she struggled to walk, let alone run.

Holly became ill when we moved to our present location. Years of injuries and general wear and tear, dragged her down. During her youth, she had run across the road and furniture lorry had hit her, dislocating one of her back legs. In her old age the joint became swollen and slowed down her pace. She developed bladder stones on top of this, which meant she had to go on a special diet. This necessitated me having to walk her round the village in the early hours of the morning as well, in an attempt to dislodge them enough, so that she could urinate but this didn't always work. Come the dawn though, she relaxed at the thought that she had survived another night and the liquid flowed out onto the carpet.

This was not the end of her woes though. She had diabetes which led to daily injections by me and her slowly going blind and deaf. I had to sleep downstairs for the last year of her life as she could no longer get up the stairs. When the vet came to put her to sleep, he wanted to give her the fatal injection in the kitchen but she dug her heels in. I told him it didn't matter as she had already messed on the carpet enough that we were going to have to replace it anyway, after she was gone. We also had Jack at that time and I shut him in the garage out of the way. He and Holly were best friends, so he took her departure very hard, howling in such a mournful way in the garage, I felt guilty about putting her down for years afterwards.

A few months before Holly developed diabetes, we acquired Midge. She didn't get on with Holly and shortly after we got her, she accidentally bumped into her in the middle of the night and bit off a piece of her ear. The vet turned it into a cauliflower, which meant all feeling left it. Another violent incident led to Midge ripping the dead ear from top to bottom, requiring the vet to staple it back together. Holly however was ecstatic as she had won the fight with her old adversary because she felt no pain, when Midge attacked her.

Midge was a severely traumatised dog and even after Holly died, she attacked Jack for no good reason. She was old when we got her and because of this it wasn't long before she too couldn't make the stairs. Once again I spent several months sleeping downstairs, while Jack went upstairs with my wife.

I was brought up with cats but my wife was allergic to them. My first cat when I lived at home, was a white haired kitten. It was accidentally killed when a draught from the back door, slammed the front door on it. My mother frantically rushed around the neighbours, trying to find a replacement before I came home. When I arrived back from school, apparently my first remark was "My, Whitey has grown since I left this morning!"

The next pet we had was a ginger cat. She gave birth to several kittens before dying. We kept her last three - a ginger tom, a white tom and a multi-coloured female. The ginger tom got shut in a neighbour's shed and was found dead a few days later. He had an ulcer on his neck that we treated with a green cream that the vet gave us. It shrunk down to the size of a sixpence but always flared up again. His brother succumbed to the same problem, when I was away at college. Male cats always get into fights, so it is not an uncommon for them to end up with this injury.

My father dug a grave for ginger and found a shoe box to act as a coffin. My brother painted a wooden headstone and I spent a night time vigil, kneeling by the place my pet was buried. I had bought an illustrated candle, which burnt down the inside and as it did this it illuminated the picture on the outside.

Visiting Norwich, a market trader talked me into buying a budgie. Unfortunately my mother got fed up with Spoot, splashing bird seed all over the carpet and so he was banished to the small room by the stairs, where he became neglected and sadly died. Yes, I felt guilty about this and still do.

The only other pets we had were goldfish, which we got when I was very young. I tried to bury them in the garden, to see if they could swim through the soil as well as they did in water. Luckily my mother caught me and saved them. She bought exotic fish that were kept in a tank. Eventually they all died from a fungal disease called white spot.

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Miserable again

So another miserable day fed up with being alone with no one to talk to. My LAD continues to say he wants a relationship with me but when I try to msg him all I ever get is ignored (not sure it's even him u do talk to) I try to have a talk/chat with him send him a msg but just get ignored for days sometimes weeks before he even replies. So I just move in & forget the 4 beautiful children I have as they seem to have moved in & forgotten about me. How I would love to just sit & talk to another human. I haven't had contact with anyone for sometimes now. I've never been what you would call a social butterfly but some human contact is needed. Apologies to ALL OF YOU for boring you with this small issue.

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I’m done

I’m done with all this 🤬
The whole year since now it’s been the s*** year that I had in the last 7y since I’m in Uk.
All started since I’ve been bullied, I fixed it, I had problems at home, abroad, i fix them (more or less), I find a solution for my health (for my leg ulcer, thank for I don’t have diabetes and still waiting for a referral to hospital) but again I’ve been bullied.
After their marvellous investigation in which they said is no evidence for being offended, threatened and mocked and after offering a mediation as solution (even tho I said clear that the mediation in not the solution for a lad that have 0 respect for me), the lad haven’t went to mediation.
Now because I ve appealed the decision of the grievance, the lad is back at work.
My mental health went out on the drain.
At 4 this morning, after being told my manager that I need to behave to be respectful with that lad and some other things, like being my fault and my blame bcus he don’t behave, I had a very bad reaction: start crying.
I left the office and went somewhere where no one can see how sissy I am, I had a very bad anxiety attack, one of my colleague which is as well junior team leader come and we’ve talked, I felt like I’m suffocating.
Is not my fault that the lad is behaving badly, I always respected my colleagues even if they don’t deserve it.
Now im home, a bit calmer than work time but is i don’t know how to fix it.
For sure I understand that now they’re investigating again or it should be and if they don’t take any kind of disciplinary actions, he’ll do it again and again till I’ll go.

My mental health went away since last night when I’ve seen it and in the morning after all that start crying and couldn’t stopped, I really don’t know what I’ll do.
I had a break up from my partner yesterday as well because of this job, we’ve been together for 13y.
Im a mess and I know it but I’ll not quit my job for a jerk
#Depression
#Anxiety
#AnxietyAttack

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Changes needs to come

Changes needs to come for me just because I’m too good with everyone and still I get to suffer 😖
Once again I’ve got bullied at work, at least now I’ve reported it and the 3rd time HR have an intervention.
I really don’t know why I’m getting all this angerness from different individuals but I’m starting to get tired.
Last Monday I’ve tried to explain to some lad as per training and common sense some things and he starting lashing at me, offending and threatening me. I’ve done my best to ignore it till the moment his started to mock me, so later on when I finished my night shift I’ve emailed my managers a complaint, just because I shouldn’t be treated like that and mocked, but to be honest most probably if he stopped there to threaten and offending me prolly nothing would be happened but he crossed the limit when he mocked me because I have a strange walk. He was like limping and laughing to his mates, looking at me with hate.
Just because I have this problem with my left foot now and I limp due to the fact if I put to much pressure in it I am in unbearable pain this doesn’t mean that I should be mocked as well.
So next week I’ll have an meeting with hr, need to review my statement and do a new one, all that happened, maybe what happened before as well and try not to loose myself there just because I’ve get emotional and my anxiety goes over the roof.
The difference now is that when I’ll have my meeting, I’ll have to my side my mental health first aider as support (not very helpful maybe due to being one of my team leaders but this it doesn’t matter cus I have nothing to hide, I am an opened book).

To be honest I never thought that I’ll have to go again to the same **** once again, I don’t even think that I had time to heal from previously time properly but I had stopped having anxiety attacks and be less terrified when I’m going to work even if I am really struggling with the stress and anxiety and a bit angerness but look I’m minding my own business, doing my work and try to speak with ppl just when they ask me something but apparently is not good enough even as this.

I know that due to past events at work, now when this happened the result should’ve been for the lad, me going to him and swearing him and beat the crap of it, I think that he imagined when he kept provoking and teasing me all night but I kept my calm.
At least I remember this from my 3 sessions of therapy: when ppl can’t express their frustrations in their life, they pick someone and try their best to do it on others.
Now I’ve heard that he’ll do a complaint against me as well, even tho he started the conflict all 3 times.

Thank you for listening
#Anxiety
#Stress
#Depression
#MentalHealth

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I need to vent

The lad that used to bully and harass me had last night a conflict with another colleague just this time he almost ended wounded, my colleague just shout, sweared and pushed him.
The conflict started when the first guy couldn’t keep his mouth shut and to mind his own business he needed to go to management and say “look what X (will call the 2nd colleague as this) is doing, he’s ripping the boxes with the hand and he wants to do easier job when he’s repacking them” and after X started to shout, to swear and to push him.
Because one of the team leader was around there I went and told him what happened, the team leader went to office and took the other orange vest.
After statements and cameras watched X got suspended and an investigation was started.

I really don’t know if I’ve done the right thing but it seems that way.
I’m not defending any1 and I always told X to be careful because the bully is reporting us for everything we’re doing but it seemed that I was talking with a wall.

All this shouting, temper and anger, these are triggers for me and the only reason that I stayed a bit chiller was that another colleague, a friend, took me on a walk to have a little chat.

I’m truly sorry for X but I warned him at least 20 times, the same, mind his own business.

#Anxiety
#mental health

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There once was a lady bug

There once was a Lady bug, who would make people laugh.

The Lady bug, would tell funny stories, to everyone.

One day, the lady bug, was not feeling well.

Oh no, lady bug is not well.

What should we do?

Call the doctor, said a bird.

No, said a dog.

Tell it a joke, said the children.

Yes, said the duck.

Knock knock, said the children.

Lady bug, who was not well, tried to have fun.

She said, in a week voice, who is there?

Bug said the children.

Bug who answered lady bug.

Bug said the children again.

Bug who lady bug said again.

Bug said the children, yet again.

Bug who said lady bug.

Lady bug, that is who, answered the children.

Very funny said lad bug.

The next day, lady bug was her old self, once again.

Lady bug thank the children, with there own collection, of what else lady bugs.

The end.

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Living with Depression - A Metaphor

When I was in college, and studying the Pre-Raphaelites, I stumbled upon the Tennyson poem below. It to me brought to life all that I experienced in coping with PTSD and depression. To live a life on the outskirts, stepping in and sharing and enjoying companionship of friends so brightly, yet so costly.

The numbness and dullness of looking "through a glass darkly" (thank you Sylvia Plath) is as living carefully and as gently as possible while not poking the dragon which sleeps beneath the surface. The idea of living and recording all around you while not partaking of it, is so much the way of the one struggling with this disease. Every step into the real world comes as a shard of glass stabbed into your naked toe. To live fully, you must experience all of the pain, just as the splitting of the fin into legs was for the Little Mermaid. I did not know for so many years, that others didn't feel the same intensity or repercussions. The extreme trauma that played out for me was a signal that I was defective, I could not control my emotions, and I was out of line and lacking. The lack of understanding and support, in fact the loneliness and rejection from all around lead back to you and only you, and so the cycle begins, and continues, with no middle or end, it simply is.

The Lady of Shalott (1842)

BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

Part I

On either side the river lie

Long fields of barley and of rye,

That clothe the wold and meet the sky;

And thro' the field the road runs by

To many-tower'd Camelot;

And up and down the people go,

Gazing where the lilies blow

Round an island there below,

The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,

Little breezes dusk and shiver

Thro' the wave that runs for ever

By the island in the river

Flowing down to Camelot.

Four gray walls, and four gray towers,

Overlook a space of flowers,

And the silent isle imbowers

The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow veil'd,

Slide the heavy barges trail'd

By slow horses; and unhail'd

The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd

Skimming down to Camelot:

But who hath seen her wave her hand?

Or at the casement seen her stand?

Or is she known in all the land,

The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early

In among the bearded barley,

Hear a song that echoes cheerly

From the river winding clearly,

Down to tower'd Camelot:

And by the moon the reaper weary,

Piling sheaves in uplands airy,

Listening, whispers " 'Tis the fairy

Lady of Shalott."

Part II

There she weaves by night and day

A magic web with colours gay.

She has heard a whisper say,

A curse is on her if she stay

To look down to Camelot.

She knows not what the curse may be,

And so she weaveth steadily,

And little other care hath she,

The Lady of Shalott.

And moving thro' a mirror clear

That hangs before her all the year,

Shadows of the world appear.

There she sees the highway near

Winding down to Camelot:

There the river eddy whirls,

And there the surly village-churls,

And the red cloaks of market girls,

Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,

An abbot on an ambling pad,

Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,

Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad,

Goes by to tower'd Camelot;

And sometimes thro' the mirror blue

The knights come riding two and two:

She hath no loyal knight and true,

The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights

To weave the mirror's magic sights,

For often thro' the silent nights

A funeral, with plumes and lights

And music, went to Camelot:

Or when the moon was overhead,

Came two young lovers lately wed:

"I am half sick of shadows," said

The Lady of Shalott.

Part III

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,

He rode between the barley-sheaves,

The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,

And flamed upon the brazen greaves

Of bold Sir Lancelot.

A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd

To a lady in his shield,

That sparkled on the yellow field,

Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,

Like to some branch of stars we see

Hung in the golden Galaxy.

The bridle bells rang merrily

As he rode down to Camelot:

And from his blazon'd baldric slung

A mighty silver bugle hung,

And as he rode his armour rung,

Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather

Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,

The helmet and the helmet-feather

Burn'd like one burning flame together,

As he rode down to Camelot.

As often thro' the purple night,

Below the starry clusters bright,

Some bearded meteor, trailing light,

Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;

On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;

From underneath his helmet flow'd

His coal-black curls as on he rode,

As he rode down to Camelot.

From the bank and from the river

He flash'd into the crystal mirror,

"Tirra lirra," by the river

Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,

She made three paces thro' the room,

She saw the water-lily bloom,

She saw the helmet and the plume,

She look'd down to Camelot.

Out flew the web and floated wide;

The mirror crack'd from side to side;

"The curse is come upon me," cried

The Lady of Shalott.

Part IV

In the stormy east-wind straining,

The pale yellow woods were waning,

The broad stream in his banks complaining,

Heavily the low sky raining

Over tower'd Camelot;

Down she came and found a boat

Beneath a willow left afloat,

And round about the prow she wrote

The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river's dim expanse

Like some bold seër in a trance,

Seeing all his own mischance—

With a glassy countenance

Did she look to Camelot.

And at the closing of the day

She loosed the chain, and down she lay;

The broad stream bore her far away,

The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white

That loosely flew to left and right—

The leaves upon her falling light—

Thro' the noises of the night

She floated down to Camelot:

And as the boat-head wound along

The willowy hills and fields among,

They heard her singing her last song,

The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,

Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,

Till her blood was frozen slowly,

And her eyes were darken'd wholly,

Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.

For ere she reach'd upon the tide

The first house by the water-side,

Singing in her song she died,

The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,

By garden-wall and gallery,

A gleaming shape she floated by,

Dead-pale between the houses high,

Silent into Camelot.

Out upon the wharfs they came,

Knight and burgher, lord and dame,

And round the prow they read her name,

The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? and what is here?

And in the lighted palace near

Died the sound of royal cheer;

And they cross'd themselves for fear,

All the knights at Camelot:

But Lancelot mused a little space;

He said, "She has a lovely face;

God in his mercy lend her grace,

The Lady of Shalott."

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